Have any of you played in other bands?
Tuomas: Taivaannaula and Hän Varasti Elämän.
Henri: Depressed Mode and Taivaannaula.
Eetu: Wanton and Warbrand.
Otto: Verikaski and Warbrand.
Emma: Hän Varasti Elämän.
What are your names? / Who plays what?
Have you had other previous members?
Yes, Gastjäle who played piano and flute 2012-2017.
Where are you from? Everywhere from Satakunta. At the moment we live in three places on this area. Satakunta is a very old historical region in the west coast of Finland.
What year did the band form? We started talking about the band for the first time in 2011, but the idea was matured for a while and the first rehearsals were held in the summer of 2012. After that we started to record our first EP pretty quickly.
What's your style of genre?
This is a question that is quite difficult for us. We have called ourselves black metal, but it seems that many people have a different opinion and that is why we have been called folk / black metal, melodic black metal, symphonic black metal, blackened death metal, etc.
Personally, we consider our music to be some kind of folk-influenced black metal, but nowadays when there are so many of these genres and everyone has to get compartmentalized very tightly inside something, it feels like we don’t belong to anything and to us it’s exactly the same. We do what we do and the style changes as new songs come along. We don’t aim to be anything, but all the art we make starts with the imagination and that’s when it’s something. Quality matters.
What inspires you?
We are inspired by nature, history, mythology and folklore. Each of us has their own starting points for doing, and yet we have grown together in such a way that those views are what
Hiidenhauta is. Inspiration can come from so many different sources and sometimes even a small phrase, sound, or thought can lead to the creation of an entire song or lyrics.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? No. At least not at the moment.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We have had a good understanding and contract with our current record company (Inverse Records). We have released all our records through them and the collaboration has been fruitful and easy for us. Of course, we always listen to different offers that have come up from time to time, but we should really get something more from the new record company, and yet we should guarantee the basics that are okay now. We constantly hear stories from familiar bands about bad deals and there is no need for us to go for one.
What are your songs about? The theme of the new album is “devil in Finnish folklore” which is broad and contains incredible stories about people’s experiences, as well as the stories told “what happened somewhere”. Our previous record was about the Great Famine in 1695-1967. The unifying factor is always the nature descriptions and metaphors of the lyrics through nature.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Tuomas writes all the lyrics and this has always been the case. The compositions, on the other hand, are a slightly more confusing whole. At the beginning, Gastjäle, who has already left the band, composed a large part of the material, but there have always been compositions by guitarist Otto and bassist Henri. The earlier record (1695) as well as the future record also contains compositions by Tuomas. So we’re able to compose fairly extensively, and if someone has momentarily lost their inspiration, it won’t stop the whole band.
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Yes, we only compose in the woods, and in cottages that don’t have electricity or water. It is also agreed that you are alone in the forest and you can't leave until the composition is complete. Gastjäle apparently did not complete his work when he has not been seen since leaving.
Have you done any covers live? We don't perform live. But we have made a cover of an old Finnish mourning march called “Narvan marssi”.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We have not sold merchandise before, but with the new album there is at least a t-shirt coming on sale, we are also trying to get patches, a fabric bag, etc. but we do not promise anything other than that shirt yet.
Where can people buy your merchandise? At the moment, you can only order a shirt from us, but later we will also sell the products in external stores, or in our own online store. More on that later.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays? You can also download by purchasing, for example in Bandcamp we have our entire production for sale really cheaply and with good quality. Free download is like stealing and if someone does that to us, they can go to hell. Especially today, when music can at least be listened to from a Spotify or similar streaming service, which is of even the slightest benefit to us artists as well. The best, of course, is to buy that physical record from a record store there, even if you would otherwise listen as a stream.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? It has changed everything. It has pros and cons. The good thing, of course, is that all the music is available easily and quickly and new, even smaller artists are easy to find. An artist doesn’t need a record company, or any big machinery behind him/her, to be able to release music to the whole world. The bad thing is that all the music is available easily and quickly, so the supply is so insane that people can’t afford to focus on the artist, or the whole record; if the song doesn’t hit right at the first minute, then the song, or the whole artist, is changed, even if there was a great record coming up. Back in the days you went to the record store, bought a record and went home to listen to that record. You listened to it many times and formed an opinion. No disc was then thrown in the trash if the first song wasn't mind-blowing. The music has become disposable, the artists are not releasing records, but individual songs that need to be pushed out constantly to ”stay afloat”. Fortunately, however, metal and rock circles still value records and listen to artists there, not just songs. I hope this goes in a better direction in the future; at least we’re not ready to compromise on record sets.
What do you think of my work? It’s great that someone manages to interview and be interested in bands and wants to know more than just the media bulletin that is sent to the media in connection with singles and records.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? All visibility is always good and the interviews are the ones you are happy to do because through them you can open up your own doing, band, music, stories, etc. more.
Do you have any role models or idols? No. Only nature and stories. While we listen to a lot of different types of music, we have no reason to put anyone up on a pedestal.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? We don’t look for inspiration from other bands or music, of course we listen to a lot of all kinds of music and through them an idea of what good music is is built inside everyone, but our inspiration doesn’t come from music made by other people. We have our own thing and that is the sum of many factors. Many feel the need to look for similarities between us and someone else’s band; certainly there are, but the fact that we would exist, for example, for fans of another band is a completely silly idea. We are us, we are not a copy of anyone, and we are not following in anyone’s footsteps.
What have been your biggest obstacles? At the moment, we have no obstacles, but we do our own thing to the fullest and without obstacles or slowdowns. We’ve had really difficult times within the band, both musically and in other matters too, especially in 2015-2017, when the whole band’s existence was 50/50 - whether to continue or not. Gradually the lines were fixed and it strengthened us more than anything.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Do your own thing and don’t try to be any other band or someone else’s band.
Do you have any new material? Actually, yes, we have several new songs composed, but time will tell what will become of them and what the next ensemble will be. I hope that in a year we will be on the verge of releasing a new album.
What are your web sites?
Do you have something to add? Beware of a man.